Your Learning Edge

As some of you may have noticed, I didn't release a new article last month. It turns out, when you challenge yourself to do something really difficult, some things get dropped. But what a great opportunity to think about what it's like to operate at the leading edge of your learning (or your "learning edge") and to normalize all the weird things that happen there.

Entrepreneurship requires growth. And growth requires learning. As an entrepreneur you're doing something new and challenging when starting a business. You are bound to learn something. In fact, you're likely going to learn something new at least once a week.

This is probably not your first time trying to learn a new thing. Most people who go through college experience the brain-stretching, all-consuming experience of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Another common time people hit their learning edge is when starting a new job; it's often overwhelming just trying to learn all the new little basic things that come along with that (e.g. how do the phones work? why can't I print anything? etc.) So, I'm sure you've had prior experience with learning and experiencing the challenge that comes with learning.  

Learning comes with two common feelings: excitement and frustration. Sometimes the feelings alternate, and sometimes they happen at the same time. The excitement can be very invigorating. The frustration can stop us in our tracks. If we can keep the excitement in mind when experiencing the frustration, it can help inspire us to keep working despite the frustration and move through it.  

Another aspect of finding your learning edge is that it can be exhausting. Your brain is working so hard to gather new information. Your emotions are going crazy with "will this work?" and "am I doing this right?" At times like this rest and self-care are extremely important. Make sure you have time that you're not working on the new thing. Have a decompression ritual to help you switch from learning to recharging. Take the time to do the things that care for yourself, even if it feels indulgent. 

And with all this going on, it's only natural that some regular habits will get dropped. That's ok. Habits are not made of glass; you can always pick them back up. I couldn't find the time to write an article last month when I was pushing my learning edge, but now I'm back on track with my December piece. Plus, now there are new and exciting things going on. Yay growth! 

Whenever we learn or grow it's tough. We're stretching and it's as uncomfortable as stretching our muscles. So keep that in mind as you challenge yourself to do new things. Acknowledge that what you're doing is difficult, that it takes time and energy and some regular habits will probably fall by the wayside. All this is totally normal, so cut yourself a break and know that you'll be back in your usual groove in no time, and so much better for it.